About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
In this 2020 Covid 19
environment some Christians are complaining because of government
restrictions relating to church meetings.
They see this as a possible end-time scenario to shut down
church. If that is so,
rejoice. Don't complain.
Your full redemption is near.
Whatever you think about our present situation, should Christians
be seen as complainers by those they desire to win to Jesus?
Was Jesus or any New Testament personality noted for his or her
God being universally
and spiritually sovereign is agreed upon by almost all Christians, but do
we live what we believe? Do
our words and actions demonstrate God's sovereignty, even in this Covid
19 culture? If God is
universally sovereign, He is certainly sovereign over our present
situation. That being so,
there are lessons to learn, not complaints to be vocalized.
From my vantage point,
and I am generalizing, what is commonly called church in the West is overly organized, tediously
traditional, and meaninglessly mechanical.
It's how folk/country singer Emmylou Harris described the music
industry on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will The Circle Be
Unbroken," volume 2 album released in 1989.
As she introduced the song "Riding Alone" she noted
that in the process of making records we have lost the living room
experience in music. That
is, in the commercialization of music, singers and musicians no longer
enjoy each other's presence as they play and sing in their living rooms.
Instead, they meticulously manufacture each track as they
maneuver their way through the technicalities of a sales-driven music
industry. For them, music
has become mechanical and non-relational, and that, in my opinion,
portrays the state of much of today's western church.
Church in the West has
lost its relational living room experience that the New Testament
teaches is church. In many
respects church has become mechanical and non-relational, and that does
little to enhance the effectiveness of a meeting.
Without these heart-felt personal and supportive relationships,
meetings can become routine and even boring.
Read how Jesus feels about the mechanical, non-relational church.
Revelation 2:5 reads:
"Consider how far
you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do
not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand [church] from
Revelation 1:20 states
that the lampstand mentioned in the above verse is the church.
If, then, the community of believers to whom these words were
directed did not return to its relational first love, Jesus would shut
down the church. There might
well be a humanistic shell of a church intact, but a shell of a church
is not a legitimate church. I
suggest that we be more concerned about Jesus shutting down church than
government shutting down church, and that is a warning, a lesson to be
learned in our western Covid 19 inflicted church.
The outward appearance of church is in a partial government mandated state of quarantine, but government has no ability to quarantine our personal and supportive relationship with Jesus and with those to whom He has placed us alongside in church. That being the case, and because God is sovereign, we must not complain. We must learn our lessons, one being that church has to return to its first love as a living room style relational experience where we enjoy each other's presence as we implement God's will, much of which is accomplished outside of a meeting in a building we mistakenly call church.